However, not wanting to be the wet blanket, a major aspect of the holiday weekend is also the liability associated with thousands of people flooding into the back country, looking to cut loose.
Both Colorado and New Mexico experience huge swells of people looking to get out of the metro areas and partake in the amazing natural resources available. But, those swells of people also create significant risks and hazards.
Recreational businesses like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and numerous other guided activities see this weekend as a major money-maker (which it is). And, as the crowds build on the rivers and hiking trails, many of the outdoor businesses scramble to accommodate the increased demand. As a result, safety and common sense sometimes take a back seat to trying to put more people on the river and making more money.
In both states, the legislatures have passed numerous laws that specifically regulate many of the outdoor activities, including equine activities (horses), shooting ranges, whitewater rafting, ballooning, skier safety, and snowmobiling. These laws are in addition to the more broad laws and regulations covering motor vehicles, fishing and hunting, federal and state lands, and business licensing.
While no one wants to quickly review C.R.S. § 33-32-101 et seq., regulating River Outfitters, before they put their friends and family on a whitewater raft, it is important to remember that these laws do exist and they may determine who is liable if an accident does happen.
It is important to have fun and enjoy the holiday, but it is equally important to be careful and be conscientious of those around you. So, get out of town this weekend, enjoy the sun, and watch out for all those other crazy people trying to do the exact same thing.